CSIRO Chairman David Thodey speaking in the Australian Financial Review recently agrees. He goes on to say that the economy needs to diversify, using technology and innovation to boost productivity.
That makes sense, but we’ve heard this so many times before. How do we actually do this?
Like most people I don’t have all the answers, but in this debate I’m a firm believer in two things:
- Innovation begins at home. Or, more accurately, a lot of innovation and productivity is driven by the SME sector, by people who often start their business from home.
- The adoption of (proven) technology can help any business create the space it needs for innovation to occur.
I’m sure we’ve all met a business owner or have had a colleague who’s complained about the lack of time to focus on “the big picture”. These people have no space for innovation.
If you’re running a business there’s no space for innovation if your head is completely in managing all your systems or you don’t have accurate reporting to know what’s going on. A lot of fast growth SME businesses for example get to the point where spreadsheets and a jumble of incompatible systems just don’t cut it anymore.
We call this point “Spaghetti Junction”. Spaghetti Junction syndrome means your head is buried in the detail of systems that can’t work together and in just trying to get a clear picture of where your business is at.
With all this going on, it means there’s no space for innovation — no space to create new products, expand into new markets or develop new and improved processes that lift productivity.